Ethiopians will usher in the year 2009 on Sunday, September 11, according to the Ethiopian Orthodox calendar, which is nearly seven years behind the Georgian calendar commonly used worldwide.
Locally known as“Enkutatash”, Amharic for gift of jewels, family and friends come together to spend time with one another.
“The mood is really good. We have bought chicken and stuff related to the festival this morning. I was also here last year. It’s busier this year. Many buildings are decorated with flowers. It is beautiful,” said Brikti Abebe, a shopper.
But even as the celebratory mood sets in, some Ethiopians say the price of Teff, a staple cereal has really gone up this year due to El Niño that led to the worst drought in decades.
Additionally, recent protests staged in the Oromia region that led to the death of nearly 100 people in August, have also contributed to price hikes especially in public transport.
“Compared to last year, there is an increase by 500 to 600 birr . This is a huge increase and it is making it difficult for the ordinary citizens. I don’t know how the low income people would be able to afford to buy Teff at this time. It is very expensive,“said Mudin Musa a trader.
Despite the negative events that have cast a shadow on this year’s celebrations, Ethiopians are looking forward to a better year ahead.
Tomorrow is the beginning of the Year 2009 in the Ethiopian Calendar. We wish our #Ethiopia Sisters & Brothers Happy & Prosperous New Year.— Amb. Smail Chergui (@AU_Chergui) September 10, 2016